Clinical Tools

Access our database of downloadable resources for use in clinical practice.

Find tools based on therapeutic focus: Depression | Quality of Life

Find tools alphabetically: All tools

Why use tools in clinical practice?

Psychologists and psychotherapists are encouraged to use standardized and psychometrically sound measures to supplement their knowledge and inform all aspects of care, including screening, assessment, diagnosis, case formulation, treatment planning, and evaluation of clinical progress and outcomes. Using well-designed tools that have been tested and described in the scientific literature allows clinicians to evaluate their client’s presenting concerns relative to normative samples, to estimate the effects of their interventions, and to minimize the impact of clinician biases and demand characteristics. Increasingly, we see that psychotherapy stakeholders, including patient advocacy groups, accreditation bodies, hospitals, and insurance companies are looking for greater accountability when it comes to psychological services. Clinicians who use psychometrically sound tools to supplement their practice are in a much better position to respond to these concerns. Furthermore, by using these tools and sharing our findings, we can help to advance the state of shared knowledge so that services can be improved for all.

Determining which tools to use

There are many different kinds of clinical tools. Some are condition-specific, and assess dimensions like symptom severity and frequency, while others focus on the impact, including effects on psychological, social and occupational functioning and quality of life. A major barrier for many clinicians is information overload- there are so many tools available that it can feel overwhelming to have to review them all and select those that are most appropriate. We also know that cost and copyright issues can be significant barriers for clinicians who work in low-resource settings and that some clinicians may be apprehensive about using tools they are not familiar with. In this section, our team provides key clinical information about and access to several tools with known psychometric properties that are brief, free, easy to use. Building on published reviews of these tools, we have organized them by category and included information about constructs that are relevant across diagnostic categories. Of course, a comprehensive review of all available tools is beyond the scope of this project, and so we also provide links to recent articles, databases and other resources that can help point you to tools to improve your practice. Using clinical tools is one of the quickest and easiest ways to ensure that you are getting accurate and helpful feedback about your practice; a necessary pre-requisite for ongoing growth and as a clinician.